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Tax Breaks When Moving to Take Your First Job

The cost of hiring movers and traveling to a new home are tax-deductible if you meet the distance test.

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QI just graduated from college and will be starting my first job in September. Are my moving expenses tax-deductible?

A

It depends on how far you move. If you’re starting your first job, you can deduct your moving expenses if the new job is at least 50 miles away from your old home. If you qualify, you can deduct the cost of hiring movers (including the cost of packing as well as transporting your possessions) or the cost of renting a moving van. You can also deduct the cost of travel from your old home to your new home (including lodging, but not meals). If you drive, you can deduct 17 cents per mile in 2017, as well as parking and tolls. Keep your receipts and a mileage log. You can also deduct the cost of storing your possessions for up to 30 days between moving and delivery. You can’t deduct any part of the expenses that are reimbursed by your employer.

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After your first job, you can deduct moving expenses if your new job is 50 or more miles farther from your old home than your old job was. For instance, if you used to work six miles from home, your new job must be at least 56 miles from your former residence. You don’t need to itemize to take the deduction. Submit IRS Form 3903 when you file your taxes next spring. For more information and a full list of eligible expenses, see IRS Publication 521, Moving Expenses.

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